Title: "May Contain Wolf"


Artist: Mary Anne Barkhouse   Exhibition year: 2012

For the ancient Maya, late December in 2012 will mark the end of their Long Count calendar. Hopi prophecy speaks of transition from the fourth world to the fifth, 'the great day of purification' by fire. The Mohawk seventh generation is already here, marking the time to restore stewardship of the earth to indigenous people. As a contemporary First Nations artist I find inspiration in these interpretations of space and time. Coming from a Kwakiutl background, fundamental principles for stewardship of the land were of utmost importance for the determination of individual or communal conduct. This is in stark contrast to ecclesiastical ideologies which speaks of salvation for a very few... and of a Life Everlasting that will be achieved in Heaven, and not on Earth. This can sometimes lead to the idea that it doesn't really matter what we do with the planet, as it is only a temporary construct. The work I am creating for the Tree Museum reflects the tensions between these disparate notions of eternity. How have we played with land... and how does it play back with us? From my cultural standpoint, the tales (tails?) are of renewal... not destruction.

Mary Anne Barkhouse was born in Vancouver, BC and belongs to the Nimpkish band, Kwakiutl First Nation. She is a descendant of a long line of internationally recognized Northwest Coast artists that includes Ellen Neel, Mungo Martin and Charlie James. Working with a variety of materials Barkhouse examines environmental concerns and indigenous culture through the use of animal imagery. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, Barkhouse' work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Mendel Art Gallery, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Art Bank of the Canada Council for the Arts, UBC Museum of Anthropology, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Banff Centre for the Arts and the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs. In addition she has public art installations at Thunder Bay Art Gallery, University of Western Ontario in London, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph and the Millennium Walkway in Peterborough, Ontario.